There is a spirit in man, the Bible says, and the inspiration of the almighty gives them UNDERSTANDING (Job 32:8)
Understanding can be broken down into two words: UNDER and STANDING. Put aside what you know about understanding for a moment, and just follow me.
Under-Standing is the thing UNDER your STANDING. It is the same word as SUBSTANCE. Again, we can break substance down to two words: SUB and STANCE
SUB means UNDER, as in submarine (under the water), submit (under authority), submandibular (under the mandible/jaw); and
STANCE is STANDING
Substance = Understanding
That’s why the Bible says
Faith is the SUBSTANCE of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1)
By Faith we UNDERSTAND that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that visible things were made from things not seen (Hebrews 11:3)
Do you see this?
Sub-Stance. Under-Standing. The SUB of your STANCE. The thing UNDER your STANDING. The FOUNDATION of your life
The writer of Hebrews calls it FAITH
Elihu in Job in our beginning scripture calls it THE INSPIRATION OF THE ALMIGHTY IN YOUR SPIRIT
This simple story will help illustrate this important attribute of believing men: UNDER-STANDING
A wealthy business man in a city in the USA went with his family to visit his brother, a prosperous farmer living in the countryside, to celebrate Thanksgiving
When dinner was set and it was time to dig in and eat, the brother and his family bowed their heads to say a short prayer of thanksgiving before eating.
When they opened their eyes, they found their visiting relations staring at them with mocking eyes. The businessman said to his brother “Do you guys still do all that God stuff here. Praying to some big invisible man in the sky?”
You see, he had gone to the city and gotten too busy for spiritual things, and lost his faith. He has allowed the world to rob him of understanding.
They know not, neither will they understand; they walk on in darkness: all the foundations of the earth are out of course.
I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High.
But ye shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes.
His brother replied “No, brother. Not everyone here prays. We have six donkeys, eight cows, three horses, and many chickens. They never pray before they eat. They just eat, but we human beings know differently”
Ouch! But the point was made.
This is why the Bible calls the atheist, the one who in his or her heart, says “There is no God”; in Psalm 14:1 and Psalm 53:1, they are called FOOLS.
What separates a man from being just an animal, or even a higher animal; the foundation for being a worthy human being in this life is UNDERSTANDING.
Not the one Harvard or Oxford gives
Or even the one a seminary like Westminster Abbey supplies
Or the one that makes you streetwise
It is none other but FAITH- the result of the influence of the Spirit of God on the spirit of man. That is the real substance that makes man, man. It is the real meaning of understanding that makes him different from animals.
Where the word is spiritual knowledge, faith is spiritual understanding. This is why the Bible says faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word (Romans 10:17).
Hearing is that faculty by which God’s spirit takes spiritual knowledge and produces spiritual understanding.
Hearing is that faculty by which the Holy Ghost quickens your inner man to lay hold of things that cannot be seen.
Hearing is that faculty quickened in the spirit of man by the Spirit of God which translates the word heard into substance, something to stand upon. (See Joshua and Caleb in Numbers 14. Especially verse 24)
What this simply means is that the Spirit of God takes the word of God and makes you understand it, not as the word of men, but as the creative, redemptive or curative word of God, producing faith in you. It is a ‘faculty’ that has many departments
For instance, when the Bible says the peace of God that passes all understanding. It’s talking about all NATURAL understanding. That is, when it does not make sense to be at peace and without worries, you will be calm and undisturbed. Why?
Because there is a superior understanding at work. Spiritual understanding. Faith.
Those WHO TRUST in the LORD Are like Mount Zion, Which cannot be moved, but abides forever.
You will keep him in PERFECT peace, WHOSE MIND IS STAYED ON YOU, Because he TRUSTS in You.
It is the kind of UNDERSTANDING Elisha had in 2 Kings 6:15-17, that Gehazi did not, until Elisha prayed for him.
It is the kind of understanding that Peter had that Judas did not, because Jesus had prayed for him that his FAITH should not fail (Luke 22:32). ..To have peace with God is to have peace no matter what, and to have peace with God is a matter of faith (Romans 5:1)
Peace is not a matter of aesthetics or diplomacy or large militaries. Peace is a function of grace. The substance of peace is forgiveness. And only men of faith can receive this. The natural man cannot. It is born of the incorruptible word, in the spirit. It is an understanding that comes by hearing, and hearing, by the word (Hebrews 13:5&6)
Faith in God is the highest school in man’s universe; but it is available to even the lowest strata of men. Every other system of knowledge is subject to the school of faith.
Natural intelligence is good but the word of God is true knowledge. Natural intelligence cannot bring peace to man or cure human evil. It is the word of God that supplies that kind of under-standing. Man needs the word, because man needs God in order to be man.
Art is great, and beauty is wonderful to behold, but it is grace that washes away all racial lines, breaks the middle walls of partitions, and justifies all men from all things, such that there is no difference. Man needs grace, because man needs salvation, in order to be man. In order to see himself and his world as it is.
He cannot find God by equations or theorems or research. No tower of Babel can reach up to heaven.
Faith is the substance.
And Men of faith are men of UNDERSTANDING
Men of faith are men of knowledge
Men of faith are men of the word
Men of faith are men of the Spirit
Men that have an ear
Men who can HEAR what the Spirit is saying to the churches
Men of SUBSTANCE
They are the hope of mankind.